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Whither Perl: Blue Collar Blues πŸ”—
1624491461  

I saw a good article come over the wire: The Perl Echo Chamber: Is perl really dying? Friends, it's worse. The perl we knew and love is already dead because the industry it grew up with is too...mature. The days of us living on the edge are over forever.

One passage in the linked article gets to half of the truth:


my conclusion is that it’s the libraries and the ecosystem that drive language use, and not the language itself.


This too was my feeling about programming languages for a long time, and why I know quite a good number of them. Hammer drive nail? Hammer good.

When was the last time you thought about making an innovative new hammer or working for a roofing company? I thought not. What I am saying is that when the industry for which a toolset is primarily associated with becomes saturated, innovation will die because at some point it's good e-damn 'nough.

The web years were a hell of a rush and much like the early oil industry, the policy was drill, baby drill. Someday you run out of productive wells and new drilling tech just isn't worth developing for a long, long time. We're here. The fact that there are more web control panels, CMSes and virtualization options than you can shake a stick at is testament to this fact.

It's not all bad news though

As they say, the cure to low prices is low prices and vice versa. Given enough time, web expertise will actually be lost, much like carpentry is in the US market (because it just doesn't pay.) The need for it won't, so what we can expect the future to look like is less "bigco makes thing" than "artisan programmer cleans out rot and keeps building standing another 20 years".

Similarly, innovation doesn't totally die, it just slows down. Hell, I didn't know you could do in-place plunge cuts using an oscillating saw growing up doing lots of carpentry, but now it's commonplace. Programming Languages, Libraries, databases...they're just another tool in the bag. I'm not gonna cry over whether it's a Makita or a DeWalt.

Get over it, we're plumbers now. Who cares if your spanner doesn't change in a century. If you want to work on the bleeding edge, learn Python and Data Science or whatever they program robots with because that's what there's demand for.

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